Several news pieces and events, none of which can be traced back to Blizzard, have surfaced over the weekend. Considering that fact that April fools draws near and that Blizzard’s recent behavior did not suggest any immediate announcements, anything you may encounter in the next 2 days should be taken with a grain of salt.
1) The mysterious email.
Allegedly received by multiple people who have opted-in to the Beta, this email announces the imminent availability of it:
Welcome to the beta test of Starcraft II!
We’re excited to have reached the beta-testing stage for Starcraft II and our upgraded Battle.net service, and we’d be grateful to have you join us during the next few months of fine tuning.
Along with the beta of Starcraft II, we are rolling out our new Battle.net delivery system which will serve as the primary channel for downloading the game and its updates. In order to participate, you will need to use the Battle.net account associated with this email address.
In an effort to test our distribution system in a high load environment, we are giving a few days lead so that a large number of beta testers have the opportunity to read this email first. Our planned activation is Tuesday, March 31st at 6 PM PDT.
To see what time it is in your time zone, please check here:
After that time, you will be able to login to your Battle.net account at http://us.battle.net and download the “Battle.net Client (Beta)” which adds a host of new features to Battle.net including:
* A global friends list between all Blizzard games
* The ability to quickly join or observe your friends’ games
* Detailed statistics and rankings for each game
* Track the global achievements of you and your friends
* And much, much more!
In addition, it will serve as the launch pad for Starcraft II and will automatically begin downloading your authenticated copy once you run it for the first time. Once the game is installed, you will be able to access the Battle.net Client from within the game or as a standalone desktop application.
Sending us feedback:
In the bottom left corner of the Battle.net Client (CTRL-SHIFT-B from within Starcraft II) there is a button called ‘Feedback’ which will bring up a place for you to report any bugs or suggestions. We also welcome feedback on the official Starcraft II forums at http://forums.battle.net/board.html?forumId=12009&sid=3000
Please retain this email for your records. If you experience any technical issues getting started or while playing, please email support at SC2Support@blizzard.com.
We look forward to seeing you online soon!
The email is highly unlikely to be real. Up until now, every single Blizzard announcement of such magnitude was made through official channels, and certainly not via an email to thousands of random users three days ahead of time.Despite making it to IncGamers, this email is obviously fabricated.
2) The 3 Counters.
The counters can be seen on three StarCraft fansites: SCLegacy, SC2Forums.org and StarCraft.org. Having decompiled all three, it has become obvious that the counters are of the same origin, with SCLegacy standing out due to the additional counter and most significant changes to its site.
While we won’t rule out the possibility of something significant happening, chances are that this is an April fools joke initiated by SCLegacy.
3) Counters redirecting to www.starcraft2.com/beta
Considering the epic trolling history of the person who has started the rumor, we should have known better. However, having decompiled the counters, we can assure you that the .SWF file itself has no such function. The fake code screenshot of the redirect, “released” by Blazur, can be found here:
…and here’s a screenshot the actual code, which contains no such redirect:
Blizzard hasn’t shown any sign of an upcoming beta.
The second installment of the Battle Report Series has been announced and is still talked about by Blizzard officials; requests for questions for the official Q&A sessions are still here; competitions with beta keys given as prizes are still ongoing. This isn’t Blizzard’s way of doing things, and even without mentioning our thoughts regarding the state of development, it’s easy to conclude that this is nothing more than an April fools joke.
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